The Jacksonville Jaguars wasted little time upgrading their offensive line in free agency.
They also parted ways with one of the franchise’s biggest draft busts.
Just days after cutting starting guard Uche Nwaneri for performance reasons, the Jaguars agreed to terms with former Denver Broncos guard Zane Beadles on a five-year contract worth $30 million. They also traded quarterback Blaine Gabbert to San Francisco for a sixth-round draft pick.
Beadles, a former University of Utah standout, was en route to Jacksonville on Tuesday, and pending a physical, was expected to sign the deal Wednesday. General manager Dave Caldwell said he plans to play Beadles at left guard next to second-year offensive tackle Luke Joeckel.
“He’s very intelligent, he’s very competitive and he’s very smart,” Caldwell said. “He’s had a heck of a career to date. I think he’s played in every game possible in his four years in Denver. He played in the Pro Bowl in 2012. He’s a guy with a proven track record. He’s still only 27 years old. He’s very passionate about football. I think he checks the box for everything we look for in a player.”
Gabbert, the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft, went 5-22 as a starter, couldn’t stay healthy and was benched each of the last two years.
49ers get Martin
Jonathan Martin is returning to familiar territory, months after he accused a teammate of bullying and left the Miami Dolphins. The offensive tackle is headed back to the Bay Area to play for Jim Harbaugh.
Martin was traded from Miami to the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday night, reuniting the lineman with his college coach at Stanford and a support staff he knows so well.
San Francisco sent an undisclosed draft choice to Miami, and Martin still must pass a physical to complete the deal.
Around the league
A couple of accomplished NFL pass rushers suddenly became available when DeMarcus Ware and Julius Peppers were released to create room under the salary cap in two of the biggest moves at Tuesday’s start of the free-agency signing period.
The Bears cut ties with Peppers, who has 118½ sacks in 12 seasons, as part of a series of moves aimed at improving their defense, including agreeing to a five-year contract with former Raiders end Lamarr Houston.
The Cowboys let Ware and his 117 sacks go.
Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert and the Dolphins agreed to a five-year contract worth more than $45 million. Albert played for Kansas City last season.
Left tackle Jared Veldheer and the Cardinals agreed to a five-year pact worth up to $35 million. Veldheer left the Raiders, who replaced him by giving former Rams lineman Rodger Saffold a five-year deal.
Among other players changing teams: kick returner and receiver Dexter McCluster went to the Titans from the Chiefs.